A Lifetime of Music

On February 18, 2018, 47 Chicago-area student musicians will perform with the Northshore Concert Band as part of their annual Lifetime of Music program.


photo credit: Ralph Durham

This celebrated event, now in its 16th year, not only gives the students the opportunity to play side by side with members of a world-acclaimed music ensemble on stage at the Pick-Staiger Concert Hall on the Northwestern University campus in Evanston, Illinois, it provides them with a lasting memory!

“This was super fun and really cool,” said Victoria Venes, a student from Plainfield, Illinois who participated in this program last year. “I had a great time performing in front of so many people and it was great to get to know some of the musicians, and the director.”


photo credit: Ralph Durham

Participating student musicians are nominated by their band directors and music teachers. Tyler Hostrom has been a Northshore Concert Band member for four years and is a Lifetime of Music event coordinator. “Over the last few seasons, we’ve seen a huge surge in the number of nominations we receive.” He explained that “narrowing down the pool from 200 or more nominations down to 50 selected students is challenging! We do our best to select students of different backgrounds from all around the Chicagoland area. Some students are just a few miles down the road, while others come as far at 55 miles to join us for this event.”

Albright Middle School band director Steve Babiarz said of last year’s event, “This was by far the best outreach I have participated in and as long as I am a middle school band director, I will be nominating students to participate in this outreach. Such a wonderful opportunity for young musicians.”

This program is part of Northshore Concert Bands’ mission to encourage involvement in music for people at all stages of life and assist in the music education of young people. Their engaging music education programs demonstrate to younger musicians that there are opportunities for them to play and enjoy their instruments their entire lives, regardless of whether they choose a musical vocation.


Lifetime of Music, 2017

Mallory Thompson is the artistic director and conductor of the Northshore Concert Band and director of bands, professor of music, coordinator of the conducting program, and the John W. Beattie Chair of Music at Northwestern University. “The Lifetime of Music concert is a powerful visual and sonic representation of the wonderful things that can happen when people come together for a positive purpose!  The students are inspired by the expertise and maturity of the adults and the adults are renewed by viewing the art of making music through the eyes of the students,” Thompson said. “It reminds everyone that beautiful music is magical, and there is particular meaning when people ranging in age from 11-80 join to share in that sense of wonder”

In addition to Robert Sheldon’s Lindbergh Variations, James Barnes’ Yorkshire Ballad and John Philip Sousas’ The Washington Post, widely considered one of the most popular marches throughout the United States, the Lifetime of Music musicians will perform John Williams’ The Star Wars Saga as part of Northshore Concert Bands’ 2017-2018 theme, Sonic Stories, which takes its inspiration from the Star Wars films.

This event is not only a memorable experience for the participating students; it is a highlight for Northshore Concert Band members. “Without a doubt, this concert is one of the most rewarding of the season” said Holstrom. “From the first notes we play together, you can see the surprise and joy on the students’ faces as they think, “Wow, my instrument can sound like that?!” We put some very challenging music in their hands, and they always show up prepared and ready to put this concert together in a quick, one-hour rehearsal.”


photo credit: Ralph Durham

And let’s not forget the families of these talented student musicians. Each year parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings are given the opportunity to see their family member perform on the big stage. “There are precious moments in life when you feel so proud of your child.” said a parent of a 2017 Lifetime of Music student musician. “Watching him at dress rehearsal and seeing him perform at today’s concert are more of those moments.   Seeing him succeed and be part of something special was truly awesome.”

The following students are included in the 16th Annual Northshore Concert Band Lifetime of Music concert:

FLUTE – Katherine Chen (Whitney Young Academic Center, Chicago), Nicole Pearl Gerona-Frias (McCracken Middle School, Skokie), Abigail Kaushanski (Plum Grove Junior High School, Rolling Meadows), Elyse Malamud (Wood Oaks Junior High School, Northbrook), Elizabeth Walther (Central School, Glencoe)

OBOE – Brett Augustyn (Richard Bernotas Middle School, Crystal Lake), Liam Carden (Clarendon Hills Middle School, Clarendon Hills)

BASSOON – Mirian Friedman (Edgewood Middle School, Highland Park), Ryan Zych (Summit Hill Junior High School, Frankfort Square)

CLARINET – Kaitlyn Bolton Shannon (James Hart School, Homewood), Makena Camden (Cass Junior High School, Darien), Ivan Castillo (Huntley Middle School, DeKalb), Marisa Johnson (Beach Park Middle School, Beach Park), Kamil Musial (Elm Middle School, Elmwood Park), Sharon So (Golf Middle School, Morton Grove), Cate Wollmuth (Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School, Oak Park)

BASS CLARINET – Violet Czerwinski (Gavin South Middle School, Ingleside), Ben Lehrer (East Prairie School, Skokie)

ALTO SAXOPHONE – Julia Dudlak (Emerson Middle School, Niles), Anna Sheridan (Emmons School, Antioch)

BARITONE SAXOPHONE – Izabela Weglarz (Blackhawk Middle School, Bensenville)

TENOR SAXOPHONE – Akhil Kommala (Lake Forest Country Day School, Lake Forest)

TRUMPET – Owen Burnett (L.J. Hauser Junior High School, Riverside), Madeline Gann (Memorial Junior High School, Lansing), Caden Herron (Maple School, Northbrook), Sam Lopez (Northbrook Junior High School, Northbrook), Logan Murray (Conrady Junior High School, Hickory Hills), Brendan Sunnygard (Sunset Ridge School, Northfield), Anna Tooley (Algonquin Middle School, Des Plaines)

FRENCH HORN – Christina Fetterly (Westmont Junior High School, Westmont), Sarah Fischer (Hinsdale Middle School, Hinsdale), Ilana Friedel (Sunset Ridge School, Northfield), Claire Zhang (Kennedy Junior High School, Lisle)

TROMBONE – Ezekiel Brown ( Zion Central Middle School, Zion), Nathan Frewen (O’Neill Middle School, Downers Grove), Brady Rivkin (Daniel Wright Junior High School, Lincolnshire), Julian Spire (River Trails Middle School, Mount Prospect)

EUPHONIUM – Dyllan Bowering (McCracken Middle School, Skokie), Genevieve Levinson (Elm Place Middle School, Highland Park), Lorenzo Ramirez (Miguel Juarez Middle School, Waukegan)

TUBA – Isaac Fuksman (Carl Sandburg Middle School, Mundelein), Ally Gillono (Nathan Hale Middle School, Crestwood), Nathaniel Stall (Lake Zurich Middle School South, Lake Zurich)

PERCUSSION – Mya Love Griesbaum (Albright Middle School, Villa Park), Margaret Leger (Traughber Junior High School, Oswego), James Presslak (Lincoln Middle School, Park Ridge), Ryan Wilkov (Science and Arts Academy, Des Plaines)


Sunday, February 18, 2018, 3:00 pm

Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, Illinois

Ticket Information:

Individual concert tickets are $20 each, seniors $15, students/children $10.
Tickets are available in advance or at the box office on the day of the concert.

The box office opens at 2:00 pm on the day of the concert

For More Information:

Visit www.northshoreband.org or call (847) 432-2263



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